Have you ever wondered about how to stay safe while ridesharing? In many cases, ridesharing can be a hugely lucrative opportunity to bolster your earnings, be it for a part-time or full-time income. However, before you begin ridesharing, it’s vital to take steps to ensure you’re staying safe and protected while on the go. Luckily, our friendly experts are on hand today to ensure you know how to stay safe when ridesharing. And so we’ve also summarized how the Para gig driver app can help you earn more driver pay without worrying about your overall safety.
IS GIG DRIVING A SAFE SIDE HUSTLE TO TRY?
First of all, it’s vital that we ask the key question: is ridesharing or doing food deliveries a safe side hustle to try? Many people feel uneasy at the thought of offering ridesharing services, understandably – after all, having a stranger in the car probably doesn’t come naturally for most of us! Still, on the whole, ridesharing is a safe process.
Apps such as Uber and Lyft take the security of their users incredibly seriously. For example, Lyft has a critical response team that’s available 24/7. Additional safety policies are in place, such as a No Weapons policy, minimum age requirements, a ban (in some cases) on recording devices, no-front-seat policies (unless necessary), and so on. Drivers are always background-checked to ensure that they are safe to drive for riders. Uber also provides an emergency help system whereby your trip information is automatically provided to the authorities, so if you need help in an emergency, the authorities can find you as soon as possible. The Ride Check system also helps you avoid crashes, which can be valuable for preventing you from getting caught up in difficulties as a result.
Altogether, these features help ensure that drivers have the best possible safety while working with Uber and Lyft as rideshare driver. With that being said, things can occasionally still go wrong, so it’s worth keeping in mind that you should always take steps to ensure your own safety when ridesharing.
What About Food Deliveries?
Ridesharing is, naturally, a riskier form of gig driving work since you’ll be accepting a stranger into your car. However, food deliveries can also come with potentially bad experiences, mainly when dropping off food to the customer. Customers who are unhappy can potentially get aggressive in some cases, especially if the food is late. There is also a case of a food delivery driver being attacked by a pet dog, so it’s important to keep your eye out for potential dangers when entering a customer’s property. While food deliveries are typically much safer than ridesharing, being anywhere new should always come with caution to ensure you stay safe.
8 TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE WHILE RIDE SHARING
There’s no doubt that ridesharing is a potentially lucrative way to make a part-time or full-time income. With around 1.5 million Uber drivers in the USA and 3 million Lyft drivers, the appeal is huge. However, we’ve outlined a handful of crucial tips to help keep you safe while ridesharing or making food deliveries. Indeed, while it can be daunting when first starting off as a gig driver, staying safe is vital due to the increased number of crimes and incidents occurring in many cases.
#1 Ridesharing – Pay Attention to Rider Reviews
When it comes to ridesharing, one of the simplest ways you can stay safe is to check out past customer reviews before accepting a ride offer.
Of course, this may seem obvious, but checking a rider’s past reviews can be a simple and excellent way to identify whether a rider is a regular, praised customer or someone with a less stellar or well-known history.
Ratings are an easy way to see whether an individual is a good customer. However, if they have a lower star rating, they may have expressed unacceptable behavior towards their gig driver. Plus, since these ratings work both ways, there’s an incentive for both parties to try and work professionally – reducing the risk of injury or harm for everyone.
With this thought in mind, always be on the lookout for poor riders before accepting a ride. Customers who rank between 1-3 stars in terms of ratings should always be considered carefully, as there’s a good chance the customer has done something more than just not leaving a tip. However, even a four-star rider indicates that past drivers haven’t always had a brilliant experience, so ideally, try to focus on five-star riders where you can (especially if there are plenty of rides available at a time).
If a rider doesn’t have a history with the platform, this can be harder to judge, so you should always be more cautious with picking up such riders. For the most part, these will just be individuals who have never used apps such as Lyft or Uber before, and they’re probably absolutely fine – but sometimes, if you’re worried, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
#2 Consider Your Choice of Vehicle
Whether you’re doing food deliveries or ridesharing, choosing the right type of vehicle for deliveries is very important. Of course, most people will simply use their own car, and that’s absolutely fine. However, if your vehicle is particularly desirable or flashy, this could make you an easier target for carjackings and increase the chance of damage to your car.
If you’re buying a new vehicle for your delivery driving or rideshares, ideally, you should pick something comfortable and pleasant to drive and ride in. An electric vehicle may potentially save money on your fuel bills– although it’s worth considering whether an EV is worth the cost. If possible, it should also have a decent size trunk to store any luggage or a pushchair for your customers – people are much more likely to leave a good tip if you can accommodate them!
Choosing the right car is a simple way to ensure you’re able to provide a good service and cover the customer’s needs. A less flashy (but still professional) vehicle can deter criminals from targeting you or your vehicle, especially during the late evening or at night.
#3 Understand Your Routes and the Area
This may seem like common sense, but make sure you know the area where you are operating before you head out. Not only does this help from a navigational perspective, but it also means that you’ll know where the rough parts of town are.
Ideally, you should only ever accept fares from places you feel comfortable. More often than not, rides are generally fine; driving into a rough area, especially late at night, could put you or your vehicle at higher risk.
Ideally, if you’re concerned about a particular food delivery, don’t be afraid to bring a friend along for the ride. Traveling in pairs is often a lot safer than going alone.
#4 Pick Your Driving Hours Carefully
Picking your operating hours can be a tricky decision to make. Ensure that you pick times that work for you and that are within your capability. It is important to evaluate how much driving you can comfortably do so that you don’t put yourself or other road users at risk due to tiredness. Secondly, operating late into the evening can increase the risk of picking up the wrong riders. Drunk or abusive customers are more likely from locations that have alcohol present and that are late into the evening, so only pick from locations you feel comfortable at.
Remember: as standard, the best times to do food deliveries are typically around mealtimes (lunch and dinner especially). As such, these are usually good times to work as a gig driver with apps such as Uber Eats and GrubHub. However, if you’re ridesharing, a good time to focus is usually in the morning and evening rush at around 6 AM to 9 AM and 5 PM to 8 PM.
Working outside of these times is absolutely possible if you want (for example, to target the bar kick-out market). However, there may be more risk of driving at these times of day, so if you choose to do so, make sure you take any necessary precautions.
#5 Stay With Your Vehicle at All Times
Many people make a common mistake when getting into rideshare or food delivery driving: leaving their car unattended. For example, this could mean leaving your car at the side of the road for ages while waiting for meals to finish being prepared for a customer.
For the most part, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if your car is unattended, it will be at a much higher risk of theft. In fact, around one-quarter of car thefts occur when the car is parked at the side of the road – so this isn’t a small number at all.
With this thought in mind, wherever possible, it’s vital to stay with your car to reduce the risk of theft or damage. When you have to get out of your car – especially for food delivery drivers – make sure your car is within your eyesight and lock the vehicle immediately. If you’re collecting food from a restaurant, try to park in their parking facilities where possible. This simple distinction can protect your vehicle from getting damaged and reduce the risk of you ending up vehicle-less in a neighborhood you don’t know.
When ridesharing, it’s also critical to stay within the vehicle as much as possible. Though it can be tempting to do so, unless your rider is visibly struggling, do not get out. Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of carjackings from ride sharers.
So, it’s crucial that you stay within your vehicle at all times. However, if your rider needs help, remove the keys from the ignition and keep them with you while helping to ensure they can’t just hop into the driver’s seat and leave! This is also important from an insurance perspective, as many insurance providers will not cover theft if the keys are left in the ignition.
#6 Ensure You Have Insurance in Place
Insurance is a must when ridesharing. This isn’t just a case of having vehicle insurance but also coving yourself to protect yourself and your vehicle from damage and risk. After all, financial safety is still important to consider (though your physical safety must always be the most important priority).
Many insurance schemes offer limited liability cover and business motor insurance. This can protect your vehicle while in use as part of your food delivery or ridesharing goals. Of course, regular driver insurance is also crucial just in case you get into an accident while out and about.
#7 Trust Your Gut
Finally, one of the most important tips that are completely invaluable is to trust your instincts. Often if something doesn’t feel right or you’re not sure, the chances are it isn’t. Trusting your gut instinct on fares, riders and locations may mean canceling some rides. This is not a failure but helps to protect you and your vehicle from harm. Always stay within your limits, and don’t drive to unknown locations or dodgy areas, especially late at night when crime rates are higher. Trust your feelings and use your judgment to ensure that you make the right decisions when lift sharing.
HOW THE PARA APP CAN HELP
Did you know that the Para app can be an excellent way to ensure you know before you go all of the most important information about a job? Not only does it help gig drivers earn more, but the Para app also allows you to see customer ratings, flag previous bad experiences, and the like to ensure you don’t have to work with potentially bad riders or clients.
What’s more, as your main gig HQ, Para allows you to automatically accept and decline offers based on their value and metrics. So, you won’t be tempted to look at your phone while driving (which is both illegal and very dangerous!)
Give Para a try – it might just change the way you work in the gig economy as a result!
With more people than ever getting into rideshare driving and food deliveries, there are plenty of amazing opportunities to earn more gig work! However, working as a delivery driver or rideshare driver shouldn’t have to put you at risk, which is why it’s always crucial you take time to protect yourself when working as labor on demand. Luckily, with tools such as Para, streamlining your work and ensuring you stay safe while working on the road is easy – so, why not download the Para app and optimize your gig work accordingly?